It seems every day I can go into the Google search engine, type in the name of an animal or plant species and discover that the animal or plant species is being held as a scapegoat for something which was really caused by Humans. Today I found an article online entitled, "Weed invasion causing man-elephant conflict " which was written by Subhash Chandra NS and was pubished online at: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/192364/weed-invasion-causing-man-elephant.html
In this article Subhash Chandra states the following:
"The State Forest department has submitted before the High Court that exotic weeds like parthenium, eupatorium and lantana were growing in abundance in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the State, taking over native grass and creating a food scarcity for the pachyderms in the forests."
Well if this is happening and causing pachyderms (such as Elephants) to not have enough food to eat, the logical and simple solution to the problem seems to try and get rid of these exotic weeds don't you think, so that the food that elephants and other pachyderms eat there could grow in abundance once again? According to the article:
"“Despite the efforts made to remove the weeds physically in Nagarhole, Bandipur and BRT tiger reserve –– these areas are part of Mysore elephant reserves –– it has not yielded results,” the affidavit said. With bamboo being the main food of several herbivores, including elephants, the affidavit said the department’s efforts to ensure artificial growth of bamboo have failed due to overgrazing by cattles belonging to the villagers in the fringes of the forest."
In other words, humans are causing the conflict between themselves and the elephants, because they are raising cattle on this land, which are overgrazing, and causing weeds to overgrow in the areas being grazed.Because of these weeds, the food that elephants need to eat to survive, is not plentiful enough for them, and now because of this fact, elephants are going to have to move around in order to find bamboo plants to eat from.When they move around, they may cause damage to human villages and human property,which causes some people to want to kill the elephants. However, it is human behavior which is causing this problem for the Elephants.
As shown in this graph:
a "dramatic inverse relationship between elephant and human populations in Africa. Elephants are found where human populations are the lowest, or, as in South Africa and Kenya, where elephants are largely within national parks or preserves.The root cause of human-elephant conflict is the exploding human population growth and resultant pressure on elephant habitat."
Throughout the elephant world, in Asia and Africa, humans and elephants are killing each other and destroying food sources. Both the Asian and African Specialist Groups of the IUCN ( International Union for Conservation of Nature )have assigned task forces to address human-elephant conflict (HEC). (source:http://www.elephantcare.org/humanele.htm )
Now I would like to return to the article written by Subhash Chandra, which continues in this fashion:
"The department has also submitted that the anti-depredation cost (for scaring and driving away elephants when they enter human habitat) was increasing every year."
Well what do you expect to happen if the Elephants do not have any food to eat and they do not have any place to live because so many humans are now living in the area, and some of these humans are using the land for farming and crops? It is the humans which are causing this man-elephant conflict to occur, yet it is the Elephants which are being made to suffer and possibly even die, because they lack the food they need to survive! The elephants have as much, if not more right to live in these areas as the humans do! They have been engaging in foraging for bamboo, centuries before any humans were in these areas of the World. Elephants cannot change what they eat, unlike humans. Elephants cannot limit their population levels like humans can. Elephants do not overgraze land like cattle owned by humans do! Yet it is the elephants who you can be sure, will be blamed, if negative interactions between humans and elephants occur in the future in this part of the World! It will be the elephants who are killed or forced to move somewhere else not the humans, which is so unfair! This situation, is evidence of how selfish humans are as a species! Humans have overpopulated this planet something awful and it is our species who is causing problems for other life on this planet, not the other way around! Humans need to stop overpopulating this planet,before this behavior is going to lead to suffering and death for all of all life on this planet!
As stated in the article: "Human- Elephant conflict in Sri Lanka."
which you can read by clicking on the following link:
"Except at lowest densities, large wild animals and humans are fundamentally incompatible. This incompatibility increases rapidly as both animal and human densities increase. The conflict between man and elephant is the result of competition for land and its resources, and it has become one of the most serious conservation problems, for which general solution remains still elusive. Crop raiding by elephants is a chronic problem in areas where cultivators live in close proximity to elephants. In addition the conflict includes crop depredations, destruction of houses and properties by wild elephants, loss of human lives, and the death of elephants from land mines. Elephants also kill and injure livestock and disrupt the social and economic activities of the local communities. The traditional approach towards mitigating the conflict in Sri Lanka has mainly depended on legislative protection of the species and reservation of its habitat."
If humans and large wild animals are fundamentally incompatible,then it is humans who should be willing to give up things, not these wild animals, in order for both species to be able to live in harmony! Because of this incompatibility too many elephants (such as the one in the photo above) and other large wild animals are being used as scapegoats for the human-elephant confllct in our World!!!!
Source of image:http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_YP_mo7n_81I/TN4TKLA2jJI/AAAAAAAAAOA/vBTuw8JNZdQ/s1600/2.jpg